Myocardial infarction or in simple words, a heart attack occurs when the flow of oxygenated blood to a section of the heart gets blocked. Coronary Heart Disease is the most common cause of heart attack. In such a condition the coronary arteries get narrowed and eventually blocked due to the gradual deposition of fat, cholesterol and other such substances which are collectively termed as plaque.
A heart attack can occur anytime to any person, even while they’re doing the most mundane chores. So how do you know that someone is having a heart attack or is going to have one eventually? Here are the most prevalent symptoms that appear prior to a heart attack:
- Profuse sweating
- Breathlessness and nausea
- Pain along the neck and left arm
- Extreme pallor
- Discomfort and strain in the chest
What is the best course of action to take when someone around you is having a heart attack? Quick and wise action on your part can save a life.
Listed below are a few Dos and Don’ts that you must keep in mind if you think someone is having a heart attack:
- Have the person sit down, rest, and try to keep calm.
- Loosen any tight clothing.
- Ask if the person takes any chest pain medication, such as nitroglycerin, for a known heart condition, and help them take it.
- If the pain does not go away promptly with rest or within 3 minutes of taking nitroglycerin, call for emergency medical help.
- If the person is unconscious and unresponsive, call the ambulance, then begin CPR.
- If an infant or child is unconscious and unresponsive, perform 1 minute of CPR, then call 911.
- Don’t leave the person alone except to call for help, if necessary.
- Don’t allow the person to deny the symptoms and convince you not to call for emergency help.
- Don’t wait to see if the symptoms go away.
- Don’t give the person anything by mouth unless a heart medication (such as nitroglycerin) has been prescribed.
Adults should take steps to control heart disease risk factors:
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking more than doubles the chance of developing heart disease.
- Keep blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes in good control and follow your doctor’s orders.
- Lose weight if obese or overweight.
- Get regular exercise to improve heart health. (Talk to your doctor before starting any new fitness program.)
- Eat a heart-healthy diet. Limit saturated fats, red meat, and sugars. Increase your intake of chicken, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Your health care provider can help you tailor a diet specific to your needs.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. One drink a day is associated with reducing the rate of heart attacks, but two or more drinks a day can damage the heart and cause other medical problems.
Put your heart first and do everything that is beneficial for its wellbeing. Make healthy lifestyle choices and embrace every heartbeat for a better, brighter life!